Gangtok: A 10-day training programme on the preparation of table mat by using stems of large cardamom was organized at Noom Panang Village, Upper Dzongu, North Sikkim which concluded on 6th October 2021. The programme was organized under the CSR initiative of North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Limited (NEDFi).
During the valedictory programme, Ashim Kumar Das, Deputy General Manager, NEDFi, Guwahati spoke about the association of NEDFi with the Spice Board of India for the promotion of the craft in cardamom plantation areas of NER. NEDFi selected 3 pilot projects in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Sikkim.
The village-level programmes in the other two states were completed by March while the programme in North Sikkim was delayed due to the travel restrictions imposed for containing Covid 19. He mentioned that 4 to 5 beneficiaries of each of these project groups will be invited for a Residential Advanced Training programme at Guwahati where training on preparation of more value-added products will be provided. He mentioned that NEDFi under its CSR initiative had introduced water hyacinth craft in the plain areas of the northeastern region and since water hyacinth is not available in hill states it introduced large cardamom fiber, which is a very good raw material for craft items.
The Chief Guest, Sonam Lepcha, Additional District Magistrate, North Sikkim mentioned that this will help in effective utilization of discarded stems of cardamom, disposal of which had been an issue earlier. He also gave importance to the preservation of traditional crafts of the Lepcha community.
M. S. Ramalingam, Deputy Director, Spices Board of India appreciated NEDFi for bringing the technology among the cardamom growers. Karma Dorjee Lepcha, Zila Parishad Member appreciated the women group for coming out with good quality products during the programme and assured them to provide market linkage too, through the festivals and government programmes.
The function was also attended by officials from the Ministry of Textiles, DHH, Horticulture and Agriculture Departments, ICRI RRS, UNDP, etc. who highlighted the schemes and facilities available with their respective departments.